Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Pointers to Publishing | Transitions of the crossover author

Published:Sunday | March 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMCorine LaFont

There are a few authors who are gifted and talented to be able to write in different genres, meaning, an author may write in erotica, spirituality, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. It is very possible to have works in multiple genres coming from one author.

In interviewing one of my guest authors on one my radio programmes, Branch Isole (pronounced e-so-lay) shared that he had a master's in theology, which led him to writing works on spirituality. But his works on erotica, while seemingly opposite to spirituality, came from his own personal experience. He said that we are both spiritual and sexual beings, so writing for spirituality and erotica are not as far-fetched as some people perceive it to be.

It was agreed that anyone being a crossover author would obviously have to have an interest in different types of literary work, and some amount of research would be required. For fiction, you will need to have a well-written, compelling story to grab the reader's attention and pull him or her into turning those pages, while for non-fiction, informative content and a degree of credibility behind it to back up what you say would be essential - as in the case of Branch, he has a master's in theology.




A concern that may cross your mind is whether it is best to focus your writing for one genre or for multiple genres and how this affects your credibility, perception, and marketability.

My recommendation is to focus on your strongest area of writing. In other words, specialise in one genre that can capture a segment of the market. Your audience will get to know you for that area. You can build relationships around that and build your credibility.

It is also easier to market yourself when you focus your attention in one area. It would be quite challenging to spread yourself too thin over multiple genres when it comes to marketing, given the time and effort it takes for promoting and marketing just one book. Can you imagine for many books across different genres across various audiences? I don't think so!

However, after a while - and you can determine when the time is right - you can ease your audience into new literary works, which they will see as a new side of you but was really always there. It's just that you didn't reveal it to them at the time.

It's like film stars, for example, Will Smith. He started out as a rap artiste, moved into daytime TV with Fresh Prince of Bel Air, then on to the big screen. One step at a time, he showcased to the audience who he was, and what his skills and talents were.

You know many others who can be cited as examples such as Steve Harvey, who transitioned from being a comedian to daytime TV, to talk show host, now New York Times' best-selling author and game show host.




The same applies to your writing. The approach to being a crossover author can take a similar methodology; however, if you are one of those authors who feels obligated to publish your works in multiple genres, you can follow the suggestion of Branch Isole and use a pseudonym for your other literary works. That way, no one else will know it's your work, and you can retain your identity with the one area you choose to focus on. There's always a way around, right? However, keeping your name a secret may not last too long, and when discovered, you may have some damage control to do!

- Corine La Font is a speaker, coach, author, and a self-publishing consultant. Check out her website at or contact her at